Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Ottawa has published a detailed guide to filing and managing planning and heritage review applications to its Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department (PIED), reflecting the city reaching Stage 3 within province’s COVID-19 emergency controls. It also has reported on progress on construction building inspections and building permit approvals as extreme restrictions imposed at the pandemic’s height are eased.
PIED general manager Stephen Willis says in a memo to developers and contractors that the department is “beginning to return to the processes which were in place prior to the pandemic.”
“As a service organization, Ottawa residents and businesses depend on PIED to deliver the services they need,” Willis writes. “Additional modifications to existing processes have been put in place to ensure the services being requested are provided.”
Willis noted that most of the department’s services are operating with no interruptions “and we are continuing to address the services which have been limited.
“As we continue to wait for the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management to end, we will continue to update you with any further changes,” he writes.
“Many processes have been modified to meet the current Provincial stage our city is in. Please find the newest updates on some of the changes we have put in place. All services modifications can be found on Ottawa.ca as well.”
“Construction projects are proceeding and are complying with public health measures to operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Willis writes. “This is critical to keeping our staff, and the community we serve, safe. The situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly.”
“Environment studies, design assignments, contract administration, inspection services, engineering support during construction, condition assessments and associated field investigative work on all infrastructure projects continue to proceed as planned,” he says.
“Staff are working remotely from home offices with few exceptions. Teleworking and other innovative ways of communicating remotely continue to be encouraged for business.”
Meanwhile, the city’s Building Code Services organization continues “to modify its service delivery to ensure clients and staff are served in a safe and efficient manner.” Willis asks contractors to refer to Ottawa.ca for the most up to date information when requesting services or information from Building Code Services. They can also call the city’s general information number at 3-1-1.